>> hello and a warm welcome to the "journal" on dw-tv. i am sabrina el ahl. >> and i am monika jones with the business news. our headlines -- north korean leader kim yong-il is dead with his youngest son emerging as the heir apparent. germany at times to rebuild bridges with britain after strains within the e you leave london isolated. and syria signed a deal -- signs a deal, but the bloody conflict shows no signs of stopping.
kim jong il, the absolute ruler of communist north korea, has died at the age of 69. the official announcement came on monday on state television, two days after the leader apparently died of a heart attack during a train journey. his funeral is scheduled for december 28. his third son, kim young in -- kim jong-un is widely expected to be his successor. there are concerns about his lack of experience in the country's future stability -- in the the country's future stability -- and the the country's future stability. >> it was a portrait of kim jong il hung in every living room. the public displays of grief for widely covered by north korea's state television.
>> now that he is gone, it has become clear to us what a great leader we had. >> we have to carry on without him now, but we will still try to make our country as strong as possible. >> the news caught south korea off guard. its intelligence agency learned of kim's death from the north's tv broadcasts. >> our army is standing by. who knows? maybe they will now want to invade us. >> 3 a's government called for calm -- three of's -- south korea's government called for calm. we are prepared. >> or working to maintain peace and security -- we are working to maintain peace and security. >> the future is now in the
hands of kim jong-un, who had been groomed as kim jong-il's successor for years. on monday, north korea's military fired a missile just hours after the announcement of kim jong il's death. >> was the late kim jong il? we know that he was the son of a dictator -- who was the late kim jong il? we know that he was the son of a dictator. the facts on the reclusive kim are thin. >> kim jong il's life was shrouded in mystery. much of what is known was carefully spun by north korea's propaganda machine. it begins with the story of his birth. legend has it that kim was going in an anti-japanese guerrilla camp -- born in an anti-japanese guerrilla camp.
official records show he was born in siberia. he was in his mid-30's when he was anointed as the successor to his father, but he did not inherit power until his father died in 1994. initially, he continued his father's policy of isolation. he presided over a devastating famine that killed an estimated 2 million people, refusing offers of international aid. later, he made tentative moves toward a fall in relations with the outside world -- thaw in relations with the outside world. in 2000, north and south korean families met for the first time since they were divided in 1953. the leaders of the two koreas also came together. they signed a reconciliation agreement, but it was not last. soon after, the u.s. president george w. bush declared north korea as part of an axis of evil.
pyongyang expelled nuclear weapons inspectors. he was a genius of military art and strategy. the culture that has grown around kim jong il is now likely to switch to his son, kim jong- un -- kim jong-un. >> the economy is known to focus on industry. that supports its mystery -- military. the general population has had to pay the price, sometimes with famine and starvation. the country has often been dependent on food supplies from abroad. >> the international trade fair in pyongyang a few weeks ago. the communist regime tries to present a picture of itself as open and forward-looking, but the country has little to interest international trade partners. its only real products are cheap
medicine and some electrical goods. one factor hampering the economy is north korea's efficiency in the use of its -- and efficiency in the use of its grommet -- raw, material wealth. it is also ranked as the most corrupt country in the world. sanctions imposed by the national committee have taken their toll -- international community have taken their toll. >> we'll have more on north korea later on. the death of north korean leader kim yong-il raised the specter of regional instability in asia and the markets reacted strongly. shares edged lower in europe on monday. >> a very choppy start into the christmas week. the uncertain situation in north korea after the death of the
leader was not so much in focus. the dax could not recover from losses last week. the troubled situation in the eurozone erased any gains. mario draghi spoke about a very difficult situation for the economy and banks. putting pressure again on the dax. there was strong demand for shares of air berlin. the arab airline etihad will become the strongest and biggest shareholder. the shares are worth more than 8%. >> let's take a look at some market figures right now. we begin in frankfurt, where the dax closed half of 1% lower. the euro stocks ended the day almost unchanged -- eurostoxx ended the day almost unchanged. the euro is trading at $1.3005
against the u.s. dollar. united arab emirates airline etihad is increasing its stake in germany's number two carrier air berlin. they have pledged to invest millions of dollars in the next few years to support growth. >> the cash injection could not have come at a better time for the ceo of berlin. it gives him more time to restructure the ailing carrier. in berlin has suffered losses for the last three years -- air berlin has suffered losses for the last three years. air berlin will be able to use etihad's hub for long-haul flights. >> this deal is a beacon in the history of aviation and air travel.
>> yesterday in germany, we were a minor player in regard to our net worth. today, with air berlin, as we start to integrate, we have now a considerable network in europe as they do in the are part of the world. >> with their cooperation, they are throwing down the gauntlet to germany's biggest airline, lufthansa. the flagship carrier's extensive long-haul network had given it an edge at home. the concept is now likely to face stiffer competition from -- lufthansa is now likely to face stiffer competition. >> the move follows the second imf for more review of lisbon's process on budget austerity and economic reforms under the $78 billion -- 78 billion euro bailout. the portuguese government said its deficit would not exceed
4.5% this year, well below the limit set by creditors. thousands of civil servants went on strike across italy today to protest the austerity plan of the new government, led by prime minister mario monti. there were cuts to services in hospitals, post offices, and government offices. italy's three largest trade unions called the strike. they say ordinary workers are bearing too much of the cost of the debt crisis. they want mario monti's government to step up governments to crack down on tax evaders. >> it is all due and balloon for us workers. in my opinion, these measures are all run -- all doom and gloom for us workers. in my opinion, these measures are all wrong. his family would of expected these measures to target privilege -- >> we would have expected these measures to target the privileged. >> we will continue to protest.
we cannot stay silent. >> the government hopes to save around 24 billion euros with its austerity program, including tax hikes and raising the retirement age. the package is expected to be passed by the italian senate this week. >> now more news with sabrina. >> the german foreign minister has reaffirmed britain's importance to the european union was speaking on a visit to london in the first high-level meeting between the heat of countries since the divisive eu - between the two countries since the divisive eu meeting earlier this month. >> for germany, the united kingdom is an indispensable partner in the european union. there is no doubt that we want to make the next set in the european union together -- next
steps in the european union together. we think we have a common destiny. we think the european union is not only answer to the darkest chapter of our history. it is also life-insurance in times of globalization, because no country, no country is strong and big enough to face the challenges of the globalization by its own. >> eu leaders have signed -- blocked a landmakrk treaty with ukraine. at a summit in kiev, herman van rompuy says that ukraine needs to resolve concerns. the decision is a setback for the ukrainian president, who has rejected european calls for the release of the former prime minister.
supporters demonstrated on the sidelines of the meeting against their own imprisonment for alleged abuse of office. the syrian observatory for human rights as at least 79 people were killed on sunday while the country signed a deal to allow a team of observers from the air leak into the country. damascus agreed to the plan -- from the arab league into the country. damascus agreed to the plan. at least 60 syrian army deserters have been shot near the turkish border. at least 19 people have been killed by syrian forces earlier in the day, most of them in the central province of homs. >> this signature should allow international observers into syria. the syrian deputy foreign minister traveled to cairo to ink the agreement. the head of the arab league he said a team of arab observers will arrive in damascus within
72 hours. their job will be to monitor the arab league peace plan that syria signed up to last month. it requires us to redeploy its troops out of cities and to release political prisoners -- it requires syria to pull its troops out of cities and to release political prisoners. some are skeptical about the deal. signing the agreement will not help -- >> signing the agreement will not help the regime. assyrian people do not want to return to the past -- 2. and -- the syrian people do not want to return to the past. >> protest against bashar al- assad's regime started in march. the un estimates that more than 5000 people have died in the government crackdown. the arab league had threatened to hand the matter to the u.n. security council. >> we are staying in the middle
east. violence between protesters and security forces in cairo has continued into a fourth day. at least three people were killed when armed forces swept through tahrir square in the early morning, bringing that have told cents friday to 14 -- bringing the death toll since friday to 14. the ruling military council has defended its use of lethal force, saying the protest are part of a plot to topple the state. the german chancellor, angela merkel, is in close a vote on a 1-day visit. she was welcomed the capital by the prime minister. she is due to meet german troops state didn't -- german troops stationed in closing bell. the visit comes just weeks after clashes between international troops and others. germany has around 4000 soldiers in close of zero. to sports -- it is official.
he is not only that -- in coastkosovo. now to sports. it is official. he is now the sportsman of the year, dirk nowitzki. germany's sportsman of the year 2011, berkowitdirk nowitzki. he beat off competition from formula one driver sebastian vettel. >> i am really pleased to get this nice award. thanks to all the sports journalists who voted for me. for the first time, you have proved that you know something about basketball. [laughter] >> for the olympic gold
♪ >> welcome back. north korean leader kim yong-il is dead and will most likely be replaced by his son kim jong-un. a second-generation dictator, he led a country that diverts so much of its resources to the military that people starved to death by the millions. its military leaders are so obsessed with power that they seem prepared to go to any lengths, even risking nuclear war, to hold onto it. today, we take a look at the old and new leadership as the changing of the guards takes place. a modern city, progressive and
dynamic -- that is the picture north korea wants to give of its capital pyongyang. that is the side that western journalists are allowed to see. it suggests that people are content and at ease like in any democratic country. a people striding forward in unison. despite the censorship, pictures do occasionally emerged when other darker face of north korea. -- pictures do occasionally emerge to another darker face of north korea. many do not survive. food itself is not a scarcity, but keeping off -- but people often simply cannot afford it. the average wage is around 5000 yuan a month, less than $2 u.s. it is barely enough to buy a
kilo of tomatoes. foreign aid workers are not able to help. this woman looks after three children while their mother works in a chemical factory. their father died in an accident. >> we do not have much to eat. a bit of grain, some herbs. the authorities give us some. relatives help. we get by somehow. >> it is not only the civilian population suffering. these images of north korea's armed forces bely the dire conditions most soldiers face. often, they have to with do -- make do with barely enough rice to live on. the fortifications of the demilitarized zone or a beautiful -- are brutal symbols of the risk that has torn apart
families. these are images which went around the world -- regular rail traffic never started up. it remains a little more than a symbol. symbolic gestures are something the people of north korea are well used to. kim jong il was styled as the beloved leader, the object of a near-religious personality cult. with his death, the regime has lost its face. now that role will probably fall to kim's son, kim jong-un. >> we go now to the german institute for international and security affairs' korea expert. hello. how bad is the plight of north koreans? is starvation endemic? >> we have to consider that it really is. we know that the us since a few years ago, china is the only deliver -- we know that, since a few years ago, china is the only
deliverer of food. >> what do you think about the country's nuclear program? does kim jong il's that increase the threat to the outside world -- death increase the threat to the outside world? >> we have to consider that this is a kind of insurance policy for pyongyang. i do not expect bigger change on that part of the foreign policy. atomic possibilities may be the last insurance that the country has for not being just swallowed by the south and the united states. >> thank you very much. although it has a nuclear weapon and the capacity to launch missile attacks, much of the north korean economy remains in the stone age, especially agriculture. true to form, the country
generates wealth that is diverted to the ruling kim dynasty. >> north korea is a nation cut off from the outside world, in the hands of the communist party in the military. for 60 years, it has been ruled by the kim family. by the end of the korean war, kim is also an -- kim il-sung was installed as the dictator. after his death in 1994, his son, kim yong-il, took over. he sought an economy independent of the outside world. it was controlled by the state. north korea has plenty of raw materials, but 6 million people suffer from malnutrition. the regime spends more on arms and military than on providing for its people. it is thought that north korea
has been working on its nuclear weapons program since the late- 1980's. in 2005, pyongyang declared it had a fully operational nuclear bomb. since then, it has performed a number of test launches of long- range rockets, as well as underground tests. >> let's go back to the korea expert. what can you tell us about the real power brokers in north korea, the top military brass? what kind of contact to they have with the outside world? -- do they have with the outside world? >> they are very informed about the situation outside of north korea. they know very well that any kind of information leaked out said the country -- outside the country would destabilize the regime. they keep the country closed. in that way, they guarantee the
survival of the regime. since kim jong il took power, it was a big difference between him and the founder of the nation, which was kim il-sung. the real power is concentrated in the military and the party, not inside the family of the kim's. >> do you imagine them giving up power and joining the? world the -- joining the world community? >> not in the near future. to the regime. anything like that would mean the end of the regime. the utmost for the regime is guaranteeing survival, which means continuing with policy. >> what role will china play in the succession? >> china is the most important
factor in the northeast asia. china is the biggest supplier of aid, food, and energy. china is one of the most important status quo powers in this situation. most of the countries that form the six-country talks are status quo powers. nobody wants to really big change on the korean peninsula because they all have an interest in stabilizing the regime on a level maybe below the nuclear threat. >> do you think relations between the west and north korea will improve? >> there are signs that kim jong il tried to sort of get some new contacts to moscow this year. he tried to have some energy supplies in from russia. this might lead to a kind of